Inside Magic has been online since 1992 or 1996 depending on what you mean by online. We began as a monthly newsletter sent to subscribers obtained through Boys Life classifieds and converted to CompuServe, Genii (the GE electronic service – not the magazine) and then the Internet.
We advertised through Yahoo at a cost of $140.00 (1990s dollars) and later advertised through the new and unproven Google search service. Much less cost but at the start, many less clicks.
There were months when the clicks were three or five. But it was cheap so we kept with it. We advertised on magic websites – there were very few back in the early days but Meir Yedid was a dependable site. People trusted him, they trusted his opinion on magic and enjoyed his very honest description of magic for sale or for viewing.
They still do.
In the old days, Inside Magic had a news side and a catalog side. We would never review tricks we sold – because that seemed improper.
Eventually the catalog side faded from existence. We sold the bulk of our remaining inventory on eBay and Amazon and focused on the news and reviews side of the website. We liked that. Selling magic is a tough business. The margins are tight, there are so many sites now selling effects, and we are softies. We can’t stand to disappoint people. We did what no sane magic seller does, we gave refunds – even if the trick came back beat up and without instructions. It just seemed fair.
Bright we are not. We love magic and want to do nothing that could or possibly could interfere with an individual’s enjoyment of this great art. That doesn’t make us ethical or smart – just us. Similarly we would never interview or review a performer or trick/act we didn’t like. We want to be positive always. Maybe we didn’t like the trick or the act or the performer but that didn’t mean it/he/she/they weren’t great in the eyes of others.
Additionally, there are so many young performers and their first crack at getting publicity is through a review. How terrible for the first review to be negative or mean. We got our first review in a newspaper and it was horrible. The trauma on a 12-year-old’s psyche is so significant. We got later, more positive reviews but the first one stung and made getting back on stage difficult.
All of this is coming to a point.